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Dog biting incidents – schoolgirl savaged to death

Tragic news spreads across the country in what appears to be yet another vicious dog biting incident.

Teenager, Jade Anderson who was 14 years old was staying at her friend’s house for the start of the Easter holidays. It is understood that Jade was sat eating her lunch when two Staffordshire bull terriers, a blue mastiff and an American bull dog tried to grab the mince pie out of her hands before biting her throat and legs.

Police were called to the scene and on arrival the armed officers managed to kill the “aggressive and out of control” dogs. However, Jade was found dead on the floor bleeding from bite marks all over her body.

The owner described the dogs as “her babies” yet a sign outside of the house displayed “Beware of the dog – enter at your own risk”.

Jade’s death follows a number of reported dog biting incidents that appear to be occurring on a frequent basis and costing the lives of innocent children.

The Government has announced that microchipping will become compulsory and dog owners will face prosecution if an animal attacks anyone in their home.

So what is the position at law if an animal attacks you?

The legislation dominating this area of the law states that “Where damage is caused by an animal which does not belong to a dangerous species, a keeper of the animal is liable for the damage, except as otherwise provided by the Animals Act, if:-

  1. the damage is of a kind which the animal, unless restrained, was likely to cause or which, if caused by the animal, was likely to be severe; and
  2. the likelihood of the damage…was due to characteristics of the animal which are not normally found in animals of the same species…: and
  3. those characteristics were known to that keeper or were at any time known to a person who at that time had charge of the animal… or, where that keeper is the head of a household, were known to another keeper of the animal who is a member of that household and under the age of sixteen.”

On this basis, it is clear that a claim can be made against an owner of such an animal for any injury, loss or damage sustained. However, this is on the condition that the owner of the animal has insurance in place to insure against such liabilities.

In addition to this, liability against the owner may also arise in negligence and in particular the failure to control such an animal.

If an animal attacks you be sure to obtain the owner’s full name and address along with details of any insurance in place in order to achieve successful recovery for any injury, loss or damage sustained as a result of an attack.

If the keeper of the animal failed to take out any form of insurance, then it may still be possible to sue the owner of the animal. However, this would be dependant on whether the owner of the animal has sufficient assets and/or income and is able to meet any judgment obtained.

Our personal injury lawyers will always advise what is best for you, contact a member of our team on 0161 832 6972 or email a summary of your claim, with your contact details, to enquiries@lindermyers.co.uk.

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